NC State upset unbeaten #2 Duke today 87-75 at the PNC on national TV. State used 21 points from Trevor Lacey, 14 points and 4 blocks from Beejay Anya and 16 from Ralston Turner to take down the cross-town rivals.
We talked about 3 keys for the Pack to upset Duke…here is how they checked those boxes and walked away with the huge victory.
1 | Stop Okafor
Sure, he scored 23 points on the night, but overall the Pack kept the freshman phenom off balance. State sent their opposite side big down to double and was quick on rotating down and forcing Okafor to pass out of the post. When he did State was able to rotate efficiently and force tough shots all night long. When Duke did get interior looks Anya and Washington were able to erase those with blocks (the Pack had 10 total).
2 | Protect the basketball
Duke is known for their pestering defense out top, but State was able to withstand that pressure and get into their offense. NC State’s bigger guards were a big mismatch for the Duke perimeter players, allowing them to hold off pressure and pass over the top when needed. State only turned the ball over 10 times, which was very good against a defense that rarely quits.
3 | Bigs and Bench
This Wolfpack team hadn’t put these two things together all season, but today they did. The bigs were outstanding. One reason they were able to do so much damage was thanks to their willingness to share. Duke brought doubles but State was too quick with their high-lows and interior passing, getting them wide open layups and good clean one on one opportunities in the paint. One huge factor was Kyle Washington’s first half passing. KWash is known for his ability to score in the post, but today his passing and awareness was what stood out. He was quick in his decision making and beat Duke’s rotation over and over. He had 3 assists, but countless good looks in the post.
Sure, good passing was nice to see but they were also able to finish in the paint against Okafor. Washington had 9 points, Abu had 8 and Anya (one of State’s players of the game) added 14.
The other side of this key was the bench. NC State has had trouble getting their bench going as of late, but today they had it clicking. Anya came off the bench and provided the Pack with a huge boost on both ends. He finally showed the ability to finish with his back to the basket and also did what he does best, clean up the offensive glass (3 ORebs). Anya also added 6 boards and 4 huge blocks. The other guy that played great off the bench was a Martin twin, but not the one you are used to. This time is was Cody Martin who got the majority of the minutes. He filled up the stat sheet with 6 points, 5 assists and 3 boards (in only 16 minutes of action), but it was his defense that kept him on the floor. Martin was everywhere, using his length and quickness to force tough shots, grab loose balls and really give State a lot of energy whenever they started to slow down.
Overall, this was a huge win for the Wolfpack. It gave them their first premium win and gives them a ton of momentum heading into their Wednesday matchup with arch-rival UNC.
We’ll have more breakdown of this game with deep stats, quotes and much more…stay tuned and party on, Raleigh!
NC State is a Slight Underdog in ACC Opener vs. Boston College
NC State (4-2) will play their first ACC game of the 2023-24 season tomorrow on the road against Boston College (5-2), and they enter the game as slight underdogs. The Wolfpack are 1.5-point underdogs, and the Total is 150.5.
- NC State is 0-2 Straight Up as underdogs
- BC is 4-1 Straight Up as favorites.
- NC State is 2-4 Against the Spread.
- BC is 4-3 Against the Spread
- The Total has gone Under in 2 games for NC State, Over in 3 and Pushed in 1.
- The Total has gone Under in 3 games for Boston College and Over in 4.
- NC State is 6-4 in their last 10 games against BC Straight Up.
- NC State is 4–6 Against the Spread in their last 10 games against BC.
- The Total has gone Under in 5 games, and Under in the other 5.
#5 NC State 70 Vanderbilt 62: BOX SCORE (with notes)
The 5th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team improved to 8-0 tonight, defeating Vanderbilt 70-62 in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge.
- Saniya Rivers scored 20+ points for the 2nd time this season, scoring 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting. She also chipped in 8 rebounds and 2 steals.
- River Baldwin posted her first double-double of the season. She scored 12 points and grabbed 10 boards.
- Aziaha James has now scored in double figures in 7 of 8 games, scoring 14 points tonight, shooting 6 of 10 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
- Freshman Zoe Brooks led the Pack in steals (4) and assists (4).
- NC State didn’t shoot well, making only 39% of their shots. Fortunately, they held Vandy to 34.3% shooting.
The Wolfpack will host Illinois State on Sunday at 2pm.
NC State Stat Leaders Heading into the ACC Opener vs Boston College
This Saturday, NC State heads to Boston College for the now-annual early ACC opener. The Pack will face off against the Eagles at 4pm on ACC Network. Here is where the team is statistically after 6 games.
- Casey Morsell leads NC State in scoring with 14.5 ppg.
- The Pack has 4 double-digit scorers this season. Morsell (14.5), Jayden Taylor (13.3), DJ Burns (13) and DJ Horne (11.2)
(Last season State had 4 double-digit scorers as well. Terquavion (17.9), Joiner (17), Burns (12.5) and Morsell (11.8))
- After their top 4 scorers there is a big dip. Parker comes in at 6.8, O’Connell at 6.3, and Middlebrooks at 5.5 ppg.
(Last season Jack Clark was 5th on the team in scoring at 9 points and Mahorcic was at 8.7. However, both guys missed a large chunk of the season.)
- Burns is leading NC State in rebounding this year at 5.3 per game. Diarra is next with 5.3 (but is currently hampered by an ankle injury.)
- O’Connell is leading NC State in assists with 3.3 per game, and Burns is up next with 2.5. PG DJ Horne is only averaging 2.
- LJ Thomas and Mike O’Connell are tied in leading the team at .15 assists per minute.
- Jayden Taylor is leading NC State in 3pt %, shooting an outstanding 45.8%, while Morsell is up next at 34.6%. Horne is close behind at 33%.
(LJ Thomas is shooting 50% from 3, but only has 2 attempts.)
- Burns is leading the bigs, shooting 56.5% from the floor, while Middlebrooks is close behind at 54.2%. Dennis Parker Jr is coming in at 45.2%.
- For the guards, it’s Casey Morsell leading the way at 44.6% from the floor, while O’Connell is next up at 43.4%. Taylor is shooting 42.4%, and DJ Horne is struggling a bit, shooting just 34.8% from the field.
- Jayden Taylor is turning the ball over the most at 1.8 times per game, while Burns is next at 1.7. Morsell is at 1.5 and O’Connell is at 1.2. DJ Horne has been doing a good job of protecting the basketball, turning it over just .3 times per game.
NC State 52 Ole Miss 72: Box Score (with notes)
NC State’s Men’s Basketball team lost it’s second straight game tonight, losing 52-72 on the road at Ole Miss in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge. Below is the Box Score with some notes below.
- Ben Middlebrooks posted a double-double, with 13 points and 12 boards. To be honest, Middlebrooks was the only bright spot in this game.
- Casey Morsell was the only other player to score in double figures (12 points), but it wasn’t pretty, shooting 5 of 14 from the field.
- One of the poorest statistical shooting performance I can remember.
- NC State shot 31.8% from the field and 12% from three (3-25).
- The Wolfpack’s DNA on defense is turning over their opponent, and they were unable to do so tonight, turning over the Rebels only 7 times.
- For comparison, the Wolfpack turned it over 13 times, giving them a Turnover Margin tonight of -6.
- Heading into tonight, they averaged a Turnover Margin of +7.8.
- Ole Miss scored 13 points off of turnovers, compared to NC State’s 4.
- This is the first time this season that NC State failed to force their opponent to commit at least 10 turovers.
- NC State was -25 when D.J. Burns was on the court, which was the worst on the team.
- NC State was +3 when L.J. Thomas was on the court, and +2 when Ben Middlebrooks were on the court. They were the only two players in the positive.
- Thomas and Middlebrooks should have earned themselves some more playing time going forward.
- Ole Miss’ length was problematic for the Wolfpack, blocking 9 of their shots.
There will be more analysis on this game coming tomorrow.